Stuart turned around his fortunes in Race 3 to finish 6th and remain in the top 10 of the championship

Former British Formula Ford champion Stuart Gough made his third appearance in the Mini Challenge at Snetterton (Norfolk) planning to build upon his 5th position finish at the previous event.

The Mini Challenge, which has manufacturer backing from Mini UK, features 32 drivers doing battle in identical race prepared Mini John Cooper Work cars.

Despite having never raced on the new Snetterton circuit, Stuart showed the progress made at Rockingham had continued lapping comfortably within the top 6 during official testing. However, disaster was to strike in qualifying.

A thunderstorm hit the circuit just as the session was about to start. The resultant monsoon conditions saw a number of stoppages in the session, before it was subsequently cancelled.

Stuart was one of four drivers that were unlucky not to even set a lap time due to their track position at the time of the stoppage. Stuart would therefore start race 1 in 28th position on the grid.

Race 1 would see Stuart make a strong start, battling through to 12th in just a handful of laps, before bad luck struck once more. A rare gearbox issue saw the Moorgate Motorsport Finance car stuck in 6th gear, Stuart doing well to bring the car to the finish, albeit in 22nd place.

Race 2 Stuart once again climbed his way through the pack to finish in 12th place and put himself in the mix for race 3 in front of the large trackside crowds. Making some strong overtake moves once again, Stuart featured strongly in the leading pack battling for the podium.

Despite suffering from an overheating engine Stuart would secure his second top 6 finish of the year, but more importantly pick up the top rookie award.

“Despite the challenges we had this weekend, race 3 was a great way to bounce back and show our potential once again” commented Stuart after the race. “I really enjoyed having to battle through and learnt so much about wheel to wheel racing in these types of cars.

In total we made around 32 overtakes across the three races, I don’t think I have ever had to make so many passes before! Huge thanks to the team for giving me an incredible car once again.

“I guess its slightly bitter sweet as we clearly had potential all weekend to challenge for a podium, but at this stage I am really pleased with our overall performance.
“We now head my local round at Silverstone in 2 weeks where I will have a huge amount of support. I cannot wait!”

Rounds 4 of the Mini Challenge will take place on June 10th/11th.